Newsroom > DHHS News Release

October 17, 2011

Audrey Hester, Administrative Assistant, Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home
(402) 591-4954 or

Veterans’ Home Unveils Palliative Care Suites

Lincoln—The Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home recently unveiled two newly decorated palliative care suites.

According to Jeff Smith, the facility’s administrator, “The private suites were redesigned to provide comfort and care for members and their families when they begin end-of-life care.”

Nineteen staff members have received certificates for participation in an educational series, “The Veteran Clinical Review for Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistants.”

The course was specially targeted to nursing assistants who care for veterans. It includes end-of-life issues, with emphasis on what makes the dying process different for veterans. Topics included: pain management, management of other symptoms, communicating at the end-of-life, and care of the veteran and family when death is nearing.

The class series was taught by the home’s clinical nurse educator, Michele Tegtmeier, R.N., who is a certified hospice nurse educator. According to Tegtmeier, “Taking care of someone—especially a veteran—during the dying process is a great responsibility. It’s also a unique opportunity to help the veteran with all of the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges they may face. We wanted to provide education specifically for our nursing assistants about end-of-life topics because they are often the care team members who spend the most time with the veterans and their families.”

The nursing assistants are now eligible to apply for national certification for hospice and palliative care nursing assistants which is offered through collaboration between the U.S. Veterans Administration and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

Visit to learn more about the Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home.

The Veterans’ Home is a facility operated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and is one of four state-operated Veterans Homes at Bellevue, Norfolk, Grand Island and Scottsbluff.
See photo below. Eastern Nebraska Veterans’ Home Staff Care Technicians were recently presented with certificates of participation in “The Veteran Clinical Review for Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant” education series. Back row (L to R): Brenda Knutson, ENVH Director of Nursing, Jeff Smith, ENVH Administrator; Ahmed Naciri, Lisa Church, Bill Jones, Curt Clowe, Simone Armstead, Curtis Johnson, Brenda Jackson, Pam Hamlin, Shannon Evans, Kelly Schneider, Administrative Officer VISN 23, Michele Tegtmeier, ENVH Clinical Nurse Educator. Front row (L to R); Shannon Orellana, Monica Garcia, Shirley Frazier, Jennifer Jorgenson, Selina Lyght. Not pictured: Emmanuel Appiah, Beniteba Bahena, Pamela Bechtolt, Mailene Eliam and Lil Wesemann.